Land of Lincoln Credit Union donated $10,000 to the Decatur Junior Football League in response to a recent burglary that depleted the league’s supply of equipment. With the donation and partnership with LLCU, Decatur JFL will be able to purchase replacement protective equipment (50 helmets and 50 shoulder pads). Additionally, the donation will provide funding for scholarships for 30 participants.
“Programs like Decatur JFL are critical to our community,” states Robert Ares, LLCU President/CEO. “The positive impact of a program like this is impossible to measure and we felt a strong responsibility to do what we could to ensure the program could continue and thrive.”
The league currently has 4 flag football teams, as well as a tackle team in each grade level from 5th – 8th grade. The league provides an opportunity for cheerleaders at each grade level, as well.
“This donation from LLCU will help replace the equipment, but it will go even further,” stated Tony Wilkins, JFL President. “Due to the pandemic, parents of a lot of the JFL kids are currently unemployed and so, a portion of this donation will help us to provide scholarships to those that might not otherwise be able to participate. JFL doesn’t just stand for Junior Football League, but also for Junior Future Leaders. Those future leaders are what LLCU is investing in and for that, we are extremely grateful.”
Decatur JFL provides a constructive summer activity for nearly 200 youth with over 80% of the participants coming from low income households. For this reason, the league wanted to avoid raising fees to cover the cost of the stolen equipment.
“I had the great opportunity of coming up through the Junior Football League. I was a Junior Future Leader and now I am a Leader in the community, so I know firsthand the kind of impact this program has on youth,” said Macon County Sheriff Tony Brown. “If we invest in our youth now, we’re investing in the success of their future. Then I’m not faced with dealing with them down the road as a Sheriff in a negative way. I am a Land of Lincoln Credit Union Board Member and as the largest Decatur-based credit union, we know it is important to reinvest in the community and this was a great way to do that.”
ATTACHED PHOTO #1 [from left to right]: Tony Wilkins (JFL President), DeAndre Harper (JFL Vice President), Tina Cunningham (JFL Secretary), Tony Brown (Macon Co Sheriff & LLCU Board Member), Robert Ares (LLCU President/CEO), Courtney Carson (DPS #61 School Board Vice President) and in the front row are two JFL Participants.